Restoration of Cheetah is a big step for which Indian wildlife team will be visiting African Savannah to train in relocating this magnificent beast to MP's Kuno National Park.
Members of the Wildlife Institute of India, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, doctors and veterinarians from the Kuno National Park are likely to be in this team.
Cheetah is one of the most magnificent wild beasts known for its speed of 80 to 120 km/hr. In India, Cheetahs were declared extinct somewhere around 1950-52 as the last of the 3 Asiatic Cheetahs were hunted down by Maharaja Ramanuj Pratap Singh Deo of Koriya in Chhattisgarh.
Almost a year back, the government had its plans to reintroduce the Cheetah into the Indian wildlife. The plans got delayed due to the pandemic. Now these plans are being reinstated and a team is likely to leave in July for training about the handling of Cheetah. The team will be comprised of members of the Wildlife Institute of India, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, doctors and veterinarians from the Kuno National Park and will leave for African Savannah for the basic training.
Cheetah population is very likely to be reintroduced to Indian forests by the end of 2021. The district forest officer, Kuno National Park said that the team will learn about the handling, breeding, rehabilitation, medical treatment and conservation of the animal. All this is subject to the normalisation of the covid situations.
In the first phase of the training, the team will visit the natural habitat of Cheetah, the Savannah, and get a proper feel of the environment in the open grasslands where the animal preys in its natural habitat. Once this training phase is complete, a team from Africa will visit Kuno and train the team further with respect to geographical surroundings and Indian requirements.
The government wishes to restore the threatened eco-system and conserve the species of Cheetah in India. Earlier the Supreme Court had denied permission for this massive movement. In January 2020, while hearing a petition filed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the apex court directed to choose the habitat after examining whether the animal can adapt to Indian conditions. The relocation of Cheetah is one of the biggest pilot projects in Indian wildlife conservation.
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